From The Editor TON April 2020

TON - April 2020, Vol 13, No 2

The April issue of The Oncology Nurse-APN/PA (TON) is filled with important news for today’s oncology nurse. We begin our coverage with highlights from a recent webinar held by the Association for Value-Based Cancer Care (AVBCC), in which leading healthcare experts addressed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on oncology delivery systems and the management of patients with cancer. In a noteworthy presentation, a panel of experts representing community-based providers discussed some of the measures they are taking to ensure that they can continue to deliver care to patients (see here).

“We are bracing for impact,” said Lucio Gordan, MD, President, Florida Cancer Specialists. “We are trying to prepare staff as in wartime; to deliver the best care and best quality” to more than 75,000 new patients annually, he added.

Lillie Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG, Founder, Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators (AONN+), and Brenda Nevidjon, MSN, RN, FAAN, CEO, Oncology Nursing Society, discussed the rapidly changing world that oncology nurses are facing because of COVID-19 (see here).

“We’ve got this time crunch now for being able to provide the patient education and the psychosocial support, and the majority of that is being done through telehealth, not with the patient face to face,” Ms Shockney said.

In addition to the AVBCC webinar coverage, we also feature a profile of the University of Chicago Cancer Center at Silver Cross Hospital, New Lenox, IL, as we speak with Lisa Senerchia, RN, BSN, OCN, about her roles and responsibilities at the center, some of the challenges and rewards she faces in her day-to-day duties, and how a team-based treatment approach can improve the lives of patients with cancer (see here).

“My job as a clinic nurse brings me full circle with my experience in oncology—from inpatient, to outpatient, to the clinic,” Ms Senerchia said.

This issue of TON also includes highlights from recent oncology meetings, with a focus on new therapies aimed at improving clinical outcomes for patients with cancer.

In an important presentation at the 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, Frédéric Pouliot, MD, PhD, FRCSC, Cancer Research Center, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Québec-Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada, discussed encouraging results from a study showing that positron emission tomography (PET) scanning targeted to detect prostate-specific membrane antigen finds prostate cancers missed on conventional imaging, such as computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (see here).

“In men with high-risk prostate cancer who are candidates for radical prostatectomy and pelvic lymph node dissection, PET/CT with 18F-DCFPyL improved clinical N and M staging, despite completely blinded image reads,” Dr Pouliot told attendees. “Significant clinical information that was gained with 18F-DCFPyL imaging is likely to directly impact patient management,” he added.

In a presentation at the 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, Jennifer J. Knox, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Medical Oncologist, Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada, discussed an ongoing study investigating the benefits of the novel treatment, NUC-1031, in patients with cholangiocarcinoma (see here).

“The advantage for patients, doctors, and payers would be a more active and well-tolerated doublet combination that is easy to deliver and tolerate, with no unexpected toxicities,” she said.

We hope you enjoy this issue of TON and look forward to your feedback. You can contact us via e-mail at

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